There is something I have to tell you: If you think you saw me at Safeway the other day, it probably wasn’t me. I mean, it could be me, but I have a double here in town, so please don’t yell at her about something I’ve written.
When this column began running, I was reminded of my doppelgänger when a very polite reader called to tell me that she was related to me.
“No,” I said as gently as I could, “you are not. Hansen is my married name – there are lots of Hansens around here, but I’m not related to any of them.”
But yes, she insisted, I have a picture of you here from Denmark, back when you were married to Michael.
“Well,” I said, “I’m from Denmark all right, but I’ve only been married once, and I clearly remember his name, and it’s not Michael.”
My local double is such a dead ringer that people who’ve known me for 15 years can’t tell the difference until they are less than a foot away from her. And I have no idea who she is.
There are no indications that she’s trying to make life difficult for me, but confusion abounds as my friends see me in places I’m not. And I’m wondering if the same happens to her.
Do random people walk up to her and begin ranting about my last column?
Did the handsome man who unexpectedly shot me a wonderful smile the other day really think he was smiling at someone else?
There have been plenty of sightings. Some years ago, I was meeting two friends for coffee, and I’d been waiting for a little while when they walked into the coffeehouse.
Seeing me, they blurted out in unison: “You are here?”
Yes, I was there.
“But we just saw you,” they continued, “on the corner of Monroe and First. And you didn’t wave back at us.”
Well, it wasn’t me they saw, so that probably explains the lack of waving.
Two years ago, a friend called me here at the paper teasing me about going shopping during work hours. It was a Thursday, my busiest day, and I felt like I’d been nailed to my desk.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” I snapped. “I haven’t left my office all day, so no way did I go shopping.”
“But it was you,” he said incredulously, “walking down the street with two shopping bags and a latte.”
No, that wasn’t me.
And there’s more. I’ve recently reconnected with a girlfriend. About four years ago life interrupted our friendship as life sometimes does. Tenderly, we’ve approached each other, talked, hot-tubbed, walked the dogs and looked astounded at how time has changed our offspring.
My friend confided that one reason why she hadn’t called me in a long time was that I’d been very rude to her.
“What happened?” I asked. I’m opinionated, but I usually don’t insult people and I couldn’t at all remember an argument.
“Well,” she said, “I was at ArtFest and I saw you, and you looked right at me – but then you just turned around and walked away.”
I’ve spent a lot of time at ArtFest but I’ve never seen my friend there so no, that wasn’t me, either.
Another friend insists he’s seen my double several times, and apparently she drives a car very similar to my white ‘93 sedan. “It’s even got EWU license plates,” he says.
Some people believe that everyone has a twin like this.
Realistically, it’s not something one can do anything about, you know.
As long as she doesn’t start picking up my prepaid coffee at my favorite coffeehouse, I guess I’ll be fine with whomever she is.